Ilchester: LINDIS: Ceaster: Yleceaster: Gifelcestre

  • Ilchester, Somerset. 
  • Scheduled Ancient Monument.

 

Rough semi-circular Iron Age oppidium covering approximately 16 ha and defended by a bank and ditch, rectangular Roman vexillation fort covering approximately 50 acres, bivallate enclosure.

Civitas capital of the Durotringes.

Had three phases of development.

 

70’s                              c: Roman may have withdrawn and headed north.

1st-2nd C                       Late – Early: South Gate developed and used.

2nd C                             Town defences constructed.

2nd C                             Late: Stone gate tower of South Gate, clay rampart and a possible ditch constructed.

2nd-3rd C                       Defended by a bank and ditch and covering 25 acres. Clay bank enclosing 32 acres constructed.

3rd C                             Timber revetment added to the rampart with tie beams at right angles to upright posts.

3rd-4th C                        Main interior developed.

3rd – 4th C                     Late – early: Stone wall at South Gate and possible road built.

4th C                             Stone wall replaced timber at the front of the bank.

5th C                             In a state of decline.

973                               Mint established on the site.

1066                             Part of the estate held by Queen Edith.

1082                             Mint on site.

1087-1088                    Held off an attack by Robert Mowbray.

11th C                           Attacked.

1199-1216                    During: Attacked by Peter de Mauley and Walerand de Tyeis, who took the gates to Sherborne Castle.

1200                             West Gate mentioned.

12th-13th C                    Late-early: Roman wall dismantled and ditch filled at the South Gate. New stone wall built.

1242                             East Gate mentioned.

1250                             c: Mint continued until.

13th C                           Had four gates. East Gate was on Limington Road and  North Gate was south of the bridge.

1304                             North Gate mentioned.

1387                             West Gate mentioned.

1426                             East Gate still standing.

1557                             West Gate mentioned.

16th C                           C; Wall dismantled at the South Gate.

1605                             West Gate still visible.

19th C                           South Gate area became a garden.

1947                             Aerial photograph of Iron Age oppidium.

1948-1950                    Ivel House Lawn excavated.

1958                             North Gate described as having been twin towered with a portcullis.

1966                             No trace of the West Gate left.

1968                             Church Street Car Park excavated by University of Wales, Cardiff Archaeology Department.

1969                             Rescue excavation  of the South Gate area which showed six phases of construction.

1969                             Manor House Field excavated by University of Wales Cardiff Archaeology Department.

1970                             High Street excavated by University of Wales Cardiff Archaeology Department.

1974                             Kingshams Field excavated by Committee for Rescue Archaeology in Avon, Gloucestershire and Somerset , Roman fort, Medieval boundary ditch and Roman town defences identified.

1975                             Little Spittle Fields excavated by CRAGGS.

1977                             Free Street excavated by Ilchester and District Archaeology Society. Roman wall identified.

1979                             Watching Brief by CRAGGS.

1981                             Watching Brief produced the possible Medieval town boundary on Priory Road.

1981                             Aerial photograph of Iron Age oppidium.

1983                             Castle Farm Geophysical Survey by Ancient Monuments Laboratory Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission.

1983-1984                    Almshouse Lane Watching Brief by Western Archaeological Trust, Roman town defences, Roman building, Medieval building identified.

1984                             West Street Watching Brief by Somerset County Council.

1984                             Church Street Watching Brief.

1984-1985                    Townsend Close excavated by Western Archaeological Trust –  Iron Age oppidium and ditch identified.

1984-1985                    Pill Bridge Lane Evaluated by Birmingham Field Archaeology Unit.

1985                             Castle Farm evaluated by Birmingham Field Archaeology Unit.

1985                             Excavated by Central Excavation Unit. Worberry Gate identified, Iron Age and Roman settlement.

1986                             Watching Brief showed Medieval town defences.

1986                             Town Hall Excavated by Somerset County Council.

1986-1987                    Castle Farm and Pillbridge Lane Surveyed and Measured by Somerset County Council.

1986-1988                    Dolphin Lane excavated by University of Durham, Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit.

1987                             Watching Brief by Birmingham University Field Archaeological Unit, of Lyster Close revealed a section of the upper town ditch.

1987                             Almshouse Lane excavated by Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit.

1987                             Great Yard and Castle Farm evaluated by Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit.

1988                             Almshouse Lane excavated by Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit.

1988                             Northover House Evaluated by Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit.

1988                             Iron Age oppidium scheduled.

1989                             West Street and The Paddocks evaluated by Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit.

1989-1990                    Surveyed and Measured by Somerset County Council.

1990                             West Street, The Paddocks excavated by Birmingham University Archaeological Unit – Iron Age pit, Roman boundary ditch and Medieval settlement identified.

1990                             West Street excavated by Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit

1993                             Free Street excavated. Roman ditch recorded.

1994                             Townsend Close evaluated Birmingham University Field Archaeological Unit, and part of what may have been and Iron Age enclosure and a Medieval rectilinear enclosure.

1995                             Free Street evaluated b y AC Archaeology.

1995                             Great Yard Field excavated by Bristol and Region Archaeological Service, showed a Roman ditch and settlement.

1995                             West Street and The Paddocks Watching Brief.

1995                             Townsend Close evaluated by Exeter Archaeology, and revealed pits and Roman ditches.

1997                             Watching Brief at The Waggon House, West Street, Roman ditch.

1997                             Ivel House excavated by Birmingham University Field Archaeological Unit, and revealed a rampart of the mid first century Roman fort.

1988-1989                    Ilchester Sports Field Watching Brief by SSMR (Somerset Sites and Monuments Record)

20th C                           No remains left of the East Gate.

2000                             6 West Street Watching Brief. Roman ditch identified.

2001                             Northover Manor Hotel evaluated by Somerset County Museum, Taunton.

2002                             Limington Road Car Park Watching Brief by Somerset County Museum, Taunton.

2002                             Northover Manor Hotel Excavated by Somerset County Museum, Taunton.

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